Pablo Picasso's 'joyful' portrait of daughter sells for £18m

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A representation Pablo Picasso made of his eldest daughter, Maya, successful the precocious 1930s has sold for much than £18 cardinal astatine auction.

The painting, Fillette au bateau, which translates to "girl connected the boat," was primitively estimated to merchantability for betwixt £12m to £18m, but was bought for astir £18.1m astatine Sotheby's auction location successful London connected Wednesday.

Maya was calved connected 5 September 1935 successful secrecy to Picasso's mistress and top emotion Marie-Thérèse Walter, portion the creator was inactive joined to his archetypal wife, erstwhile ballerina Olga Khokhlova, according to the auction house.

Her commencement was a root of happiness for the artist, who was going done what helium aboriginal called "the worst play of his life", helping Picasso instrumentality to coating aft an astir year-long hiatus.

Painted connected 4 February 1938, the playful and bold representation is 1 of 14 that Picasso made of Maya, his 2nd child, betwixt January 1938 and November 1939.

"In his portraits of Maya, Picasso reached for his astir joyful, brightly coloured palette, and employed a operation of styles to elevate his girl to the aforesaid level arsenic his paintings of her mother, Marie-Thérèse - the artist's top love, with whom we subordinate his astir romanticist pictures," Samuel Valette, elder specializer astatine the Impressionist & Modern Art section astatine Sotheby's London, said earlier the auction.

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Maya was 2 years aged astatine the clip the artwork was created. Her begetter depicted her fidgety quality and, arsenic was communal successful his enactment astatine the time, recreated her look with cubic distortions.

Picasso often expressed the state and tone of puerility successful his paintings. As a young girl, Maya spent a batch of clip successful her father's creation studio, the auction location said.

It added that the renowned Spanish creator would sing songs to his daughter, creation with her, usage matchboxes to marque paintings for doll's houses, usage insubstantial to marque puppet theatres, and make tiny cloth figures with heads made of chickpeas.

After Picasso's decease successful 1973, the representation of his girl was owned by Italian manner decorator Gianni Versace, and was aboriginal sold by Sotheby's successful 1999.

Almost a 4th of a period later, it has reappeared connected the marketplace pursuing Maya's decease successful December astatine the property of 87.

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